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Mend fences, keep the conversation going

3D illustration of a rubber stamp with the word compromise printed on a brown paper with the text party one and two

3D illustration of a rubber stamp with the word compromise printed on a brown paper with the text party one and two  

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There is no better time than the present to renew broken relations

During a short trip to my hometown, I dug out some of my childhood albums. Most of the photos had five or six friends hugging or leaning casually against motorcycles.

My wife was quick to point out that she had not met one of the friends in the photos. He had been a bosom pal in college, but we are not on talking terms and in touch. I have had several scrumptious meals at his home and roamed on his motorbike as if it was mine. We had bunked classes together to watch matinee shows, and I had fought with other boys for his sake.

However amiable and social we are, we all have a set of persons to whom we have stopped talking to for some reason or other. They can be friends, relatives, neighbours or colleagues.

My grandfather, for instance, stopped talking to his second son for some reason. During family functions, they would share a common room, travel in the common vehicle and eat in the same hall. But they never sank their ego and remained like that till grandpa’s death. During the cremation, my uncle remained ostensibly guilt-ridden. I can’t imagine a day without talking to my sons, and I wonder what serious issue can force a father and son into such deadlock.

Does the magnitude of a problem determine our threshold to break a beautiful relationship? Often, not. Sometimes the issue would be trivial but vigorous enough to stoke agitated minds. What may appear to be a sinister issue in a fit of rage may turn out to be trivial one as we mature in life.

Trivial matters

People have stopped talking with close friends and family members over unpaid debt of a few hundred rupees, a compound wall encroaching by a few inches, cutting a tree that infringed on the neighbourhood, skirmish between children, wrong parking of vehicles and so on. I am sure that many would repent.

In my school days, I stopped talking to a friend because he used profanity. Despite his repeated efforts to regain my friendship, I remained cold-hearted. What do we aim to achieve by not talking to someone? Do we want them to be out of our life completely? If we keep snipping relationships by avoiding talking to people whenever we find them on a different page, we may be standing alone in society. There is a popular saying, “Conflicts can be reduced if we understand that people are not difficult, but different.”

Often, we assume that the other person may atone for the mistake when we stop talking to them but we don’t realise that every story has another side to it. We need to talk more whenever we hit a rough patch in our relationships. There is no better time than the present to renew broken relationships. For, there is nothing greater than forgiving and forgetting. If we can take a leaf out of our politicians’ lives, it will be how to bury the past and revive relationships.

rishiortho@gmail.com

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Printable version | Jan 29, 2020 12:47:28 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/open-page/mend-fences-keep-the-conversation-going/article30478989.ece

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